Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Sanctification of Parenthood

And so begins the sanctification of parenthood. Not that it hasn't already been happening, but now it begins in earnest! See, our little angel is a little sinner. A little sinner who has inherited her Mama's temper. Up until now, when something hasn't gone her way, little Miss Emma has simply cried. Like a couple of mornings ago when I was attempting to load the dishwasher while she was doing her darnedest to unload it. "No", says Mama, with resulting sobs from the baby girl. She obeyed, which I think is why she cried, because she flat didn't want to. Only a couple of days later, & she's added in a slap & emphatic "Unh!" when she doesn't get her way. She's sitting in the way of the door she's trying to open . . . slap, "Unh!" to the mean, uncooperative door. Josie comes up to me while Emma's in my lap . . . slap, "Unh!" to the attention-hogging dog. Mama tells her to be gentle & "we don't hit" . . . slap, "Unh!" to the controlling Mama who dares correct her (which makes the correction have to take place again). This is a mirror to me because I often have outbursts of anger. If there's any sin I struggle with, it's anger. When I hit my head on the washer, or when the limp shower head sitting in the tub suddenly springs to life & sprays hot water in my face, or when I have no counter space in the kitchen because I haven't had time to clean it, or when it's taking 2 years to get her down at night because of all the little "going-to-bed" tasks that have to be completed, I respond with anger . . . all true stories. Poor Emma's got her own sin nature, she doesn't need me displaying my own for her to copy! She needs me to learn to control my anger so I can teach her how to control hers. A task which requires my reliance on God. I am convinced that the more I'm reading & meditating on His Word, the more I'm in communion with Him, the more His Word & His Spirit will dwell in me & change my behavior. Which, of course, demonstrates to Emma how to rely on God to help her overcome her own sin. And then, when I fail & allow my sin nature to control me, I need to model repentance for her. She needs to see me admit my sin to God, her Daddy, & her & ask for forgiveness. She needs to see me trust God's promise that I am forgiven in Christ. And she needs to see that I believe His promise to continue to perfect & sustain me. My hope is that one day, when I look into the mirror that is my child, I'll see Christ's reflection gazing back at me.